Lack of Rear-Panel Audio in OEM Motherboards

For the other two people on the planet that have rescued HP, Dell, or other OEM motherboards from their stock cases, you might have noticed that the rear-panel audio jack on the motherboard stopped working. Apparently, some motherboards (an HP dC7100 CMT in my case) will turn off the rear-panel audio jack if the front-panel audio connector is disconnected. As it turns out, this is actually quite an easy fix.

According to Intel’s official front-panel connector specifications (see attached screenshot for a jumper layout), the motherboard uses pins 5, 6, 7,9 and 10 to detect whether or not the front-panel audio jack is connected to the system.  To bypass the need for the front-panel connector, simply short pin 5 to pin 6 and pin 7 to pins 9 and 10 using some solder.  After that, you should be solid.

–Adam